Military Service Children
The Office for Students identified military service children as underrepresented in higher education after research from University of Winchester suggested that this cohort have particular experiences that may affect access. This research also suggested that military service children are less likely than their peers to go on to higher education despite achieving well academically.
“Service Children could be characterised as GCSE achievers who do not progress to Higher Education as we would expect” (McCulloch and Hall 2016)
North Yorkshire is home to over 10,000 children from a military service background, most notably in and around Catterick Garrison, the largest British Army garrison in Europe.
NCOP York and North Yorkshire have worked closely with the Service Children’s Progression Alliance (SCiP Alliance), an organisation that brings partners together to improve the educational progression of the children of Service personnel and veterans. The SCiP Alliance undertake research and support effective practice to enable thriving lives for Service children. A UK Hub network, overseen by a central practice group, has been established to connect and support regional school, college, university, and community professionals, so that more effective work can be developed and shared locally. We are the lead for the Yorkshire and North East hub. Find out more about this hub here.
Using resources developed by the SCiP Alliance, we run ‘Creative Forces Days’ for our local military service children from both Primary and Secondary schools. The activity involves a visit to either the University of York or York St John University to familiarise students with a HE environment and the opportunity to talk about their experience of being a Military service child within their community. We also provide CPD opportunities for teachers, with a view to better understand the experiences of military service children in their own schools, as well as develop a refreshed understanding of higher education and progression routes. The days are delivered collaboratively with University of York, York St John University, North Yorkshire County Council and York City Council. Feedback from previous events has shown that the day has a positive impact on the students attending, with 86% of the students ‘definitely’ or ‘likely’ to apply to enter higher education – with 54% of this cohort stating the Creative Forces Day had affected their decision on this. Students also indicated that the Creative Forces Day had increased their knowledge of higher education.
You can find out more about the SCiP Alliance by visiting their website.
For more information on how students from an Armed Forces background can be supported in the university application process, visit the UCAS website.